Around 150 million years ago, in the Late Jurassic, an 18-ton sauropod, possibly a Camarasaur (think Brontosaur), walked along a rippled sandbar by a river, leaving a track of great sucking holes with its enormous platter-sized feet.
Then, danger: a pack of theropods, likely formidable T-Rex-like Allosaurs, appeared to the left and the Camarasaur swung right, leaving an arc of tracks, crossed by the three-toed bird-like prints of at least five of the 3-ton predators. Shortly after their crossing, fine sand filled in the tracks, which were then deeply buried as part of the Salt Wash member of the Morrison formation. Eons later, in 1989, the paths were uncovered when a road to a copper mine was built through this area, off highway 191 north of Moab, exposing the tracks.
The thing about dinosaur trackways is they often don’t look like anything special, just an odd-shaped depression in the rock. You have to stop and really look and use your imagination. A little water helps too…
To visit the Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackway, drive north from Moab on 191 for 23 miles to a signed turnoff just past mile marker 148 and follow the signs to the trackway, which runs across a tilted sandstone slab less than a quarter mile from the trailhead. There is good free camping down this road as well. Check out my previous post on dinosaur trackways: Monsters of Navajoland.